Travel slowly, staying in vacation rentals (villas, farms, cottages, apartments)
Report 2040: Paris au Ralenti (Paris in Slow Motion)
By Doru from Canada, Fall 2012
Trip Description: Three weeks in the Lower Marais, living la vie parisienne.
Destinations: Countries - France; Regions/Cities - Paris
Categories: Vacation Rentals; Art Trip; Attended GTG; Opera; Sightseeing; Independent Travel; 2 People
Page 1 of 19: Wednesday, 12 September - Arrival and Settling in the Lower Marais
Across the street, on rue du Petit Musc
This starts from rue du Petit Musc, in the Lower Marais, Paris, where we have installed ourselves for what we hope will be a wonderful three weeks séjour.
It was a tiring but, as expected and hoped for, good day. The Air Canada flight was excellent but the food was abominable. Bring food from home when you fly economy with Air Canada. What they served on the vegetarian option tasted like year-old straw and the beef, well, I have a beef with it... Bread was rock-hard, muffins ice-hard. I know we do not travel because of the gourmet airline food, but this was really below any expectation.
We arrived to a somewhat clouded-over Paris and took a taxi to town, with a cheerful, talkative driver. The meter showed €47.50 on arrival (CDG to apartment), plus about €3 for luggage, to which we added the tip. Two years ago, from CDG to rue Pavée, which is on the other side of rue Saint-Antoine, we paid €50. How about consistency, reliability and good service?
A propos, the taxi stand at Terminal 2A is at door 6. And beware the horde of unofficial taxi hackers. There is absolutely no reason to accept their services. We were in an official taxi within minutes from exiting at door 6 directly to the taxi stand.
I called our host from the taxi and we met him at the apartment, where he helped us with the luggage. The famous retrofitted Paris elevators had another success story here: two people who do not mind advanced intimacy can share a ride. Alternatively, one can share the intimacy with one large suitcase or two smaller ones, according to taste... Nevertheless, the real point is: there is an elevator, and without it we wouldn't have rented this apartment which revealed itself to be full of light, with tall windows both to the street and to the courtyard; the vista from these windows with old style, irregular glass, promises many photos of Parisian mansards.
We are mostly settled in: opened the wine that our host prepared for us along with plenty of immediate food necessities and a well provisioned and functioning Nespresso machine; discovered all the plugs and light switches; promptly did some shopping at the Monoprix on Saint-Antoine; priced some wines and marc de Bourgogne at the Nicolas next door; discovered that we can use the TuneIn radio app of my Android tab and Josette’s Archos tab to listen not only to Paris classical radio but even to our Toronto favourite stations; took a short walk in the neighbourhood (rue dela Cerisaie/Blvd. Henri IV/Place de la Bastille/rue Saint-Antoine); and will soon look forward to turning off all lights.
The apartment has a large, flat screen Samsung HDTV just like one at home and it has a gazillion of stations. It seems that every single French town with a population of over 10,000 has its own channel! So do all Mediterranean countries: Italy with five, Spain, Germany and Britain with a couple each, Algeria and Turkey with about five stations each, and so on, all around the Mediterranean Basin. Overwhelming! Alas, only one sports station so far.
Looking forward to tomorrow morning, with my favourite start of day in Paris: out early to buy fresh baguettes and some patisseries.
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